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Laval Mayenne Technopole wins the 1st edition of the EU|BIC Excellence Awards!

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The participants of the EBN Congress 2024 listened to all 7 finalist pitches and decided, by popular vote, that Laval Mayenne Technopole’s “Challenge Compétences” was the most Impactful Programme in the first edition of the EU|BIC Excellence Awards.

In a short two-hour drive from Nantes, we find the French Department of Mayenne. That’s how far the award of the 1st edition of the EU|BIC Excellence Awards: Most Impactful Programme travelled. In Laval, the capital of Mayenne, we find the EU|BIC Laval Mayenne Technopole. Founded in 1996, and a member of the EU|BIC community since 2012, this technopole is showing their commitment to innovative business support practices with programmes like the recently laureated Challenge Competénces.

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Participants casted their votes for their preferred of the 7 finalist programmes after hearing the pitching session during the morning of the 2nd day of the EBN Congress.

About the Programme

EU|BIC Laval Mayenne Technopole identified concerns from SMEs of not being able to spark new initiatives and ideas withing the region. Similarly, students were unaware of local companies and left/were leaving the area for starting their careers after their studies. Challenge Compétences was born as a solution to both these challenges and a way to bridge the gap between students and local SMEs.

The challenge aims to bring together students and companies from Mayenne to promote development and innovation, enhance local skills, raise awareness of creativity and innovation among students, promote Mayenne companies and their innovations, and initiate projects within these companies.

Over a week, a team of 4 or 5 students visits a selected company. Companies are instructed not to submit a work topic to the students but rather let their fresh eyes and skills generate new ideas. Leveraging their unique perspective and set of skills the students then participate in creativity sessions to generate new ideas which will be developed, together with the company, into a pilot.

The programme has significantly strengthened the regional innovation ecosystem. By fostering collaboration among diverse stakeholders, more than 100 project ideas developed through the programme were brought to fruition by companies. This achievement underscores the programme’s role in nurturing talent and fostering innovation.

Another key achievement of Challenge Compétences is its impressive track record. Over its 13 editions, 954 students and 165 companies have participated.. These projects not only solved real-world business challenges but also offered invaluable hands-on experience for all participants. That is why a quarter of all the participating companies repeat the following years.

Challenge Competences 10 year recap

More about the EU|BIC — More about the programme

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